Cat Writers' Association, Inc.

1999 CWA Communications Contest
Muse MedallionTM (*) & Certificate of Excellence Winners

The regular category entries below were scored independently by three CWA member judges who had no knowledge of who else shared their judging assignments. Each judge awarded points on a scale of 1-100, and forwarded the results to the Contest Chair. The three scores were then averaged by the Contest Chair to calculate the Certificate of Excellence winners and Muse MedallionTM recipients. Judges were asked to include comments when possible, and comments that were available have been published here.

In the past, the three to five highest scoring entries in each category automatically received a Certificate of Excellence award-but at times this meant recognition went to less-than-outstanding work. Therefore, this year the Contest Committee determined entries must reflect a certain standard of excellence to be mentioned as a finalist. The Certificate of Excellence citations below indicate the entry received an average score of 90 points or higher. Recipients of the Muse MedallionTM scored highest in this outstanding field of excellence.

Congratulations to all of the winners!

Category I. Magazines & Newspapers

1: Yearbook/Annual
JUDGES: J. Anne Helgren, Shirley Rousseau Murphy, Gina Spadafori

    * Kittens USA

2: Magazine
JUDGES: J. Anne Helgren, Karen Payne, Dusty Rainbolt
COMMENTS ON WINNER: The best possible use has been made of the available production values (mix of color, B&W, etc.)…an ideal publication for its niche.

    * Best Friends Magazine
    Cat Fancy Magazine
    Cats Magazine

3A: Magazine Article -- Feature on Health or Care Topics
JUDGES: Karen Commings, Nancy Marano, Shara Smock Shorthouse

    Allergic to Company, Sandra Toney (Cats 2-99)
    Does Tabby Tip the Scale? Joanne Howl, DVM (Tabbies 98-99)
    DNA for Play, Ed Kane (Cats
    Is Your Vet Right for You? Solveig Fredrickson (Cat Fancy 2-99)
    The New Addition, Moira Allen (Kitten Guide '99)
    * Transfusion Technology, H. Ellen Whiteley, DVM (Cats 7-99)

3B: Magazine Article -- Feature on Any Other Topic
JUDGES: Bernadette Deerkoski, Shirley Rousseau Murphy, Karen Payne
COMMENTS ON WINNER: …a perfect, definitive breed article…Good research.

    Cats Allowed! Solveig Fredrickson (Cat Fancy 9-98)
    Cool Cats, Theresa Meyers (Cat Fancy 5-99)
    Heeding the Call of the Wild, Susan Easterly (Cat Fancy 9-98)
    * Icon for the Ages, Wendy Christensen (Tabbies 98-99)
    New Hope for Feral Cats, Moira Allen (Cats 3-99)
    The Privileges & Lessons of Age, Wendy
    Christensen (Cat Fancy 1-99)

3C: Magazine Column
JUDGES: Steve Dale, Bernadette Deerkoski, Lyn McConchie
COMMENTS ON WINNER: Well-written, top-notch presentation, excellent use of side bars. Very information…written in a clear distinctive and interesting style… thorough job of research…More than just tossing out obligatory information about conformation, I really got a feel for each breed she profiles. Also, she happens to be a talented writer, telling stories about each breed.

    Ask the Vet, Elaine Wexler-Mitchell (Cat Fancy)
    * Breed Profile, J. Anne Helgren (Cats)
    Dear Kitty, Kitty Angell (Cats)
    Dr. Deb, Debra M. Eldredge, DVM (CATsumer Report)
    Serving Animals, Susan Easterly (Cat Fancy)

3D. Special One-Shot Magazine Publication
JUDGES: J. Anne Helgren, shirley Rousseau Murphy, Gina Spadafori

    *TABBIES 1998-1999

4A: Newspaper Article, Feature, or News Story
JUDGES: Moira Allen, Mary Lee Nitschke, Sandra Toney

    Animals With Special Needs Still Have Love to Give, Fran Pennock Shaw (Intelligencer-Journal 4-29-99)
    Charlie's Angels, Debra Berdan Trace (The Mercury 3-14-99)
    Feline Philately, Nancy Ladd (Scott Stamp Monthly 7-99)
    * Ricky the Cat, Steve Dale (Tribune Media Services, Syndicate)

4B: Newspaper Column
JUDGES: Gina Spadafori, Sandra Toney, Debra Berdan Trace
COMMENTS ON WINNER: No matter what animal or pet that Steve Dale writes about, he tells it with humor and with heart-a difficult task for any writer. I applaud him.

    Animal Friends, Linda Goldston (San Jose Mercury News)
    Concerning Animals, Joan Lowell Smith (The Star-Ledger)
    * My Pet World, Steve Dale (Tribune Media Services, Syndicate)

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Category II. Newsletters or Regional Publications

1: Newsletter - Breed Specific

    1. Newsletter – Breed Specific No entries

2: Others/Newsletter Format
JUDGES: Beth Adelman, Debbie DeLouise, Mary Lee Nitschke
COMMENTS ON WINNER: Articles are comprehensive and rely on extensive research and established facts. These high standards of journalism are to be applauded.

    * Alley Cat Action

3: Others/Magazine Format
JUDGES: Wendy Christensen, Mary Lee Nitschke, Joyce White
COMMENTS ON WINNER: WCJ clearly a good publication. Info appears dependable, credible, useful and is not trivialized. Good work-congrats to the publisher. The newsletter has a nice feel about it. The quality of the paper is good and it is easy to handle. It is well laid out with an easy-to-read Table of Contents, good titles and clear writing that is both entertaining and informative. The quality of the illustrations is good. It carries original stories that meet the target audience.

    * The Whole Cat Journal

4: Article or feature
JUDGES: Moira Allen, Betty Davis, Mary Lee Nitschke

    Feline First Aid, Kim D.R. Dearth (Catnip 3-99)
    Diagnosing Brain Tumors, Kim D.R. Dearth (Catnip 5-99)
    Diagnosing Cataracts, Cheryl S. Smith (Catnip 6-99)
    * Using Herbs to Boost Immunity, Kim Campbell Thornton (Whole Cat Journal 2-99)

5: Column
JUDGES: Betty Davis, Shirley Rousseau Murphy, Mary Lee Nitschke

    Cat Chat, Nancy Marano (Petroglyphs)
    * Dear Hobbes, Dusty Rainbolt (Country + City Pets)
    Just Cats, T.J.Banks (Just Cats!)

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Category III. Short Story, Poetry, Humor, Miscellaneous

1: Short Story
JUDGES: Moira Allen, audrey Pavia, Fran Pennock Shaw
    Burglars, Lyn McConchie (Write Now ! & 2-99)
    * Tale of 2 Kitties, Lyn McConchie (Linnington Lineup 3-99)

2: Poem
JUDGES: Christopher Bock, Sandra Toney, Joyce White
COMMENTS ON WINNER: What made Christensen's poem stand out was that it reflected all felines and echoed their history in a moving way! The choice of words and repetition of sounds add much to the feeling of this poem. The imagery is good, as is the voice of the piece. There is good use of rhyme and rhythm throughout

    Jump the Moon, Betsy Stowe (laJOIE, Winter '99)
    * To Her Tabby Sister, Lady GreyShadows Christensen (Tabbies 98-99)

3: Book of Poetry

    No entries

4: Humor (Feature, Article, Book, Etc.)
JUDGES: Joanne Anderson, Lyn McConchie, Shara Smock Shorthouse
COMMENTS ON WINNER: Great mix of matter of fact humor and practical suggestions, witty and informative. To my mind, this is one of the better combinations for humor.

    Dear Hobbes, Dusty Rainbolt (City + Country Pets, May)
    * Dear Hobbes, Dusty Rainbolt (City + Country Pets, March)
    Paw Prints, Christine Ford (Cats 7-99)
    You've Got Personality, Michael Mountain (Best Friends 9-98)

5: Series, Subject-Related (Entire Series)
JUDGES: Karen Commings, Nancy Marano, Shara Smock Shorthouse

    * Explaining Vaccines, John S. Williams, DVM (Cats 6 & 7-99)

6: Brochure/Pamphlet
JUDGES: Donna Caton Blevins, Karen Commings, Joan Lowell Smith

    Animal Shelter Assistance Program, Julie Ann Mock & Sharon Metsch
    Cat Care, Marion Lane
    * National Shelter Outreach Program, Louise Holton & Becky Robinson

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Category IV. Books

1: Fiction
JUDGES: Nancy Marano, Dusty Rainbolt, Sally Rosenthal
COMMENTS ON WINNER: Murphy does a nice job with Joe Grey and Dulcie and their ability to speak. The device pulls the reader into their web very easily. I also liked the use of Azrael as an evil force and the attraction Dulcie felt for him.
    Cat in an Indigo Mood, Carole Nelson Douglas (Forge Books)
    * Cat in the Dark, Shirley Rousseau Murphy (Harper Collins)

2: Children's
JUDGES: Joanne Anderson, Sally Rosenthal, Lee Wardlaw
COMMENTS ON WINNERS: (…Milly & Tug) …has all the makings of a modern-day classic, from its timeless theme of friendship-against-all-odds to the line drawings reminiscent of beloved children's book illustrator Garth Williams. (Cats Are Like That) a delightful book for young children (grades K-2) just easing past the beginning reader stage. The story is fun and funny-with illustrations to match!-capturing and holding the readers' attention with a what's-going-to-happen-next pace from start to finish. The languare, although simple, is vivid and rhythmic and filled with the repetition necessary for children to master new words.

    Cats, Caroline Arnold (Lerner Publishing Co.)
    * Cats Are Like That, Martha Weston (Holiday House)
    * The Friendship of Milly &Tug, Dian Curtis Regan (Henry Holt & Co)

3: Care & Health (inc. Breeding, Medical, Grooming)
JUDGES: Debbie DeLouise, Ingeborg Urcia, Carolyn Vella
COMMENTS ON WINNER: …text is amusing and extremely readable. Well organized…Very good for novice cat owner. Information fairly accurate, easy style, good tips…

    Cat Health Encyclopedia, Lowell Ackerman (TFH Publications)
    * The Complete Idiot's Guide to a Healthy Cat, Elaine Wexler-Mitchell, DVM (Howell Book House)ll

4: Behavior & Training
JUDGES: Jacque Schultz, Cheryl Smith, Joan Lowell Smith
COMMENTS ON WINNER: The inclusion of actual cases of problems and their solutions is very helpful. Straightforward approach is also good…layout is clean and easy on the eyes.

    * Psycho Kitty, Pam Johnson-Bennett (Crossing Press)

5: Single Breed Books
JUDGES: John McGonagle, Liz Palika, Kim Thornton
COMMENTS ON WINNER: The Manx won out for style of writing and amount of breed-related information.

    * Manx Cats, Karen Commings (Barrons Educational Series)
    Tonkinese Cats, Linda Vousden (TFH Publications)

6: Other
JUDGES: Sally Bahner, John McGonagle, Liz Palika
COMMENTS ON WINNER: I wanna live with Bob and Frances and their cats! A visual joy. Shows the true love of the owners, while gently urging responsible, indoor care.

    * Cats Into Everything, Bob Walker (Andrews McMeel)
    101 Questions Your Cat Would Ask, Honor Head (Barrons Educational Series)

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Category V. Non-Print Media

1: Video or Television Presentation
JUDGES: Beth Adelman, Darlene Arden, Betsy Stowe
COMMENTS ON WINNER: …Champion acted like a seasoned pro. He was calm and self-possessed, and never missed his cues. Bravo! …a clearly defined, detailed training tape for humans…Production values are quite good, explanations are clear and detailed. Terrific video! Champion is one lucky cat!
    * Your Cat Wants a Massage, Maryjean Ballner

2: Audio Tape or CD

    No entries

3: Radio Presentation
JUDGES: Darlene Arden, Dusty Rainbolt, Betsy Stowe
COMMENTS ON WINNER: …provided good information, was helpful, entertaining and had really good production values. It also had top-notch guests and provided excellent content.

    * Pet Central, Steve Dale (WGN Radio)

4. Electronic/Online Presentation
JUDGES: Debbie DeLouise, Karen Lawrence, Audrey Pavia
COMMENTS ON WINNER: The site is in a class by itself with its professional graphics, writers, etc.

    *The Allpets Website, Marva Marrow
    The Cats' House Website, Bob Walker

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Category VI. Graphic Arts - Non-Print Media

1A: Photography/Black & White
JUDGES: Donna Caton Blevins, Betty Davis, Patie Ventre
COMMENTS ON WINNER: Betsy Stowe's camera tells a wonderful story…You can feel the secrecy, isolation?, security?…
    Angus and Fran: A Senior Partnership, Najib Joe
    Hakim (Our Animals, Winter 98)
    Felix Gets Some Strokes, Paul Glassner (Our Animals, Summer 99)
    Rip & Ope, Betsy Stowe (Purina Encyclopedia of Dog Care)
    * Silhouette, Betsy Stowe (Cat Chat, Summer 99)
    Team Poop: Litter Box Testers Extraordinaire, Weems S. Hutto (Whole Cat Journal)

1B: Photography/Color
JUDGES: Donna Caton Blevins, Betty Davis, Patie Ventre
COMMENTS ON WINNER: Bob Walker's "Denise" was riveting and marvelous!

    Boris, Jana de Peyer (Angel Canyon Enterprises-Greeting Card)
    Butterscotch, Blackberry & Clover, Jana de Peyer (Angel Canyon Enterprises-Greeting card)
    Cats Are Not Crows, Bob Walker (Cats Into Everything)
    * Denise Devours Kibbles, Bob Walker (Cats Into Everything)
    Eartha Kitt & So-So, Peter Freed (ASPCA Animal Watch)
    Turkish Van in Blue Hydrangea, Weems S. Hutto (City + Country Pets)

1C: Series of Photos or Photo Essay/Color
JUDGES: Betty Davis, Jacque Schultz, Patie Ventre
COMMENTS ON WINNER: Absolutely beautiful in every way. Could not be done better.

    A Typical Night, Bob Walker (Cats Into Everything)
    * Barbed Tongue, Bob Walker (Cats Into Everything)
    Special Strays, Betsy Stowe (The Special Stray)

1D: Series of Photos or Photo Essay/Black & White
JUDGES: Donna Caton Blevins, Jacque Schultz, Cheryl Smith

    Shelter Pets, Jeri Holloway (The Times)
    TICA's Last Chance & CFA's Maine Attraction, Beverly Caldwell (The Scratch Sheet, Summer 98)
    * The Many Moods of Babycakes, Nancy Wong (Our Animals, Winter 98)

2: Illustration
JUDGES: Wendy Christensen, Paul Glassner, Patie Ventre
COMMENTS ON WINNER: Now we know why computers were invented. I laughed out loud at this one. Very clever.

    * Cat Mandala, Bob Walker (Cats Into Everything)

3: Series of Illustrations
JUDGES: Darlene Arden, Wendy Christensen, Paul Glassner
COMMENTS ON WINNER: The illustrations are charming and can easily stand on their own to tell the story. The expressions are clearly detailed, use of the medium shows good control. Backgrounds are also nicely detailed. All in all, a very pleasing entry.

    * Outside - A Molly book, Erin Marie Mauterer (Outside-A Molly Book)

4: Cartoons

    No entries

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